Today, we will try to prove that the UEFA Champions League is a sham masterminded by the corrupt organization that runs the competition. UEFA has no qualms about making their intentions to make more money clear. It's an organization which cares primarily about increasing profit, and they have demonstrated that clearly in the past - be it through small actions like increasing stadium advertisement sizes or bigger catastrophes like TV rights auctioning.
As with all good conspiracy theories, we need a foundation of assumptions to move us through.
Master Assumption: UEFA wants to increase revenue by creating more sellable games
Definition (Sellable Game): A sellable game is one which has huge media and fan interest. It will get more people to buy tickets to watch the game, but more importantly it will create greater media hype before the game and allow UEFA to capture more mind share. A sellable game is not necessarily the most exciting game to watch.
Assumption A - The Mechanics:
The mechanics of the draw depend on teams finishing second in the group stage being drawn first. I do not believe this part is rigged and assume that the order of pulling out teams from this pot is completly random.
However, the selected team from the second pot is in certain cases pre-determined (4 cases as I will explain below).
I will not speculate about the mechanics of how this form of deception is done, but needless to say I have seen much more mind boggling tricks in my life, not just on TV but on live theater. It's very safe to assume that with the current state of technology in the world, picking a pre-determined ball out of a bowl will be a very simple achievement.
Assumption B - The Headliners:
To make more money, UEFA need big headlines, and to get big headlines there's only one way - The human element of the game - the drama. In a nutshell, bring someone who left back from another country.
Getting someone from another country is easy - UEFA have already insured that matches in the first knockout stage cannot be from the same association. They have of course also made sure games can't be from the same group - how boring would that be.
The important part is finding a high profile player or coach to make the headlines, and make the game
interesting for journalists then fans.
Assumption C - Thinking Ahead:
Not only do UEFA need to find big games for this stage, but they need to make sure they don't exhaust their headlines for the next round. At the very least, there should be a couple of big teams facing each other. The next draw will of course be rigged as well to ensure that happens, but to make it easier they drop the need for teams to be from different associations so that country level rivalries can be brought into play.
This means that some big teams will need to face "easier" teams from the start in order to go through, but those matches should be made as exciting as possible IF at all possible.
Assumption C - addendum 1 - ¡Viva España! and God Save the Queen:
Italy doesn't bring in money. Italian fans are poor. Italian fans are easily disinterested, and cynical about their teams.
English and Spanish teams have global appeal and bring in the big dough.
If any big team is to go through, preference shall always be given to Spanish teams first, followed by English teams.
Italian teams can go to the garbage dump.
Finding the matches:
The procedure for finding these big matches would focus on the big teams: Barca, Real, Chelsea, Manchester, Arsenal, Inter, Milan. It's obvious that these are the biggest teams "media-wise".
Let's take each team and think about who we can pair them up with:
Barca - Need an easy match to make sure we don't lose a big headline this early on. They can't get Milan because that's already been played out in CL history. An interesting aspect to play on as a certain player who was loaned out: Hleb.
Someone who had the headlines covered for a while, being unhappy on the Barca bench. Hleb was obviously unhappy when he was lumped into the transfer deal to Inter, and a lot of drama surrounded the player. How better to capture headlines than to bring him back to the team that rejected him?
Assumption Game-1: Barcelona to get Stuttgart
Real - The other Spanish side needs to go through, and like their counterparts they have a player to capture the headlines: Benzema.
Karim Benzema had JUST left Lyon a few months ago, leaving many fans dissapointed in his decision. The 07/08 top scorer of Ligue 1 is easily the most sellable name to get all French football fans watching. On the other hand it doesn't take much to get Real Madrid fans interested in a game due to hardcore loyalty. And a relatively easy game will ensure Assumption Viva Espana goes to plan and gets Real through.
Assumption Game-2: Real to get Lyon
Chelsea - This one's a no brainer. Although there are two options for UEFA. Do they get Ancelotti back to Milan (Milan vs Chelsea)? Or Mourinho back to Chelsea (Inter vs Chelsea)? It's very easy to pick one, especially considering that they have bigger plans for Milan (see below).
Inter it is, and easily the biggest headline of this stage. It will also fulfill Assumption Long Live the Queen as I'm sure Platini doesn't have a problem with Inter being knocked out at this stage. The English side is easily much stronger on paper.
Assumption Game-3: Chelsea to get Inter
Manchester - Golden balls hasn't been home for many many years, and I'm sure Sir Alex will be thrilled to see him.
Another easy one and the reason why Ancelotti didn't get Milan - Beckham has to get Manchester.
Assumption Game-4: Manchester to get Milan
That leaves one big team, Arsenal. We could have assumed they will get Porto for the sake of rivalries (Having been dropped to the second position in last year's group after a 2-0 defeat. But to simplify the calculations I will ignore Arsenal. This one's a less obvious assumption to prove so we'll keep it to the obvious ones above. We could've also added that there's certain media appeal to Bayern/Fiorentina as the Italian sides seek revenge for their fallen brothers, but that again is more of a coincidental thing which isn't necessarily rigged.
So with the stage all set, let's do some math.
Everything in life has a probability of happening or not. Once you get several things happening in a row, the probabilities of those events gets compounded and is easy to calculate.
If our above assumptions were correct, then there is a very specific probability of them happening. That probability figure will be the difference between us saying that something is just a coincidence, or if there's more to it than meets the eye.
For example, if I told you I am going to flip a coin and I assure you it's heads, you won't be impressed if I'm right. I had a 50% chance of getting it right, so I could be just lucky. On the other hand if I get it right 10 times in a row, then I'm either psychic or it's rigged, because the probability of getting it right ten times in a row is less than 1% (0.097% to be exact). Nobody's that lucky!
We'll start by calculating the probability of each game of the draw as it happened live.
Based on Assumption Game-1, they will get Barcelona.
Options: Bordeaux, Man U, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Fiorentina, Barcelona, Arsenal.
Based on game assumptions, we don't care who they get as long as it's not Chelsea, Real Madrid, or Manchester United because those teams are reserved
Options: Bordeaux, Man U, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Fiorentina, Sevilla
Based on Assumption Game-3 they will get Chelsea
Pptions: Man U, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Sevilla, Arsenal
We don't care who they get as long as it's not a reserved team (Madrid, Man U)
Options: Fiorentina, Man U, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Arsenal
Only one reserved team here which is Real Madrid.
Options: Real Madrid, Sevilla, Arsenal
To get Real Madrid based on Assumption Game-2
Options: Man U, Real, Arsenal
Shouldn't get Man U (Or should get Arsenal) - same probability
Options: Arsenal, Man U
Milan to get Manchester United
The probability of all the above events occurring is calculated with the ∩ operation.
The final calculation looks like this:
P (1/7) x (3/6) x (1/5) x (3/5) x (2/3) x (1/3) x (1/2) x (1/1) = 0.095%
Let's look at that number again:
That number says, that if you were to flip a coin 10 times in a row, you will have a better chance of guessing all the outcomes right, than for the UEFA Champions League draw to have occured exactly as it has based on our assumptions.
It's very easy to the cynic to say that working backwards after the draw was concluded, we can come up with any set of assumptions to suit the desired outcome. But it's also very easy to see that the assumptions we brought up were obvious from the start. Inter fans were already dreading facing Chelsea and felt the Mourinho connection come up. Beckham already spoke about his desire to go back to his old team. We did not even bring up Arsenal/Porto or Fiorentina in our calculations. In fact, the probability would have been much much lower if we did find a reason for every game to be a headliner.
Finally, consider the fact that we did not even include the group stage in these calculations. We did not include other factors such as who teams faced in the past and shouldn't face again. This whole thing can be blow out of proportions if we need to make a point.
But I think the conclusion is clear, nontheless.
This entire posts can be considered a bit tongue in cheek, just to give the forum something to talk about. I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories. But if you are to take any part of it seriously, it's my strong belief in the corruption and greed of UEFA. I do not put it past them to have pulled any of this off. And now, looking at the numbers, I think it's difficult to explain it any other way or shrug it off to random luck.
Now excuse me while I go and try to guess 10 coin tosses in a row correctly.